Name My Children (Small Group Categories Elementary)
June 6, 2019 6:02 AM   Subscribe

My class is divided into A and B. We normally give each group a cute name. This year I had apple group and banana group. But, I also have small groups in each grouping. I'd love to be able to further subdivide my A and B groups without resorting to colors to distinguish them. I'm after suggestions of category pairs! Thoughts so far are for Fruits and Vegetables or Plants and Animals.
posted by Trifling to Education (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
How old are the kids, and what are you studying?

My first thoughts are tied to academic vocabulary, or stretching adjectives, etc...

-mammals and reptiles (or birds, amphibians, insects)
-planets and stars
-cities and states
- The House and the Senate (don't know if you're in the U.S., but some equivalent)

More cutesy, less academic:
-cakes and pies (puddings and biscuits?)
-toys and tools
posted by Temeraria at 6:10 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Pick any higher level biological grouping and you can pick subgroups within.

Eg Group Canines has subgroups wolves, coyotes, Group Felines has team Lion, Tiger, Cheetah.

You can do this with trees or fish or insects, whatever they seem into. Heck you could probably do it with Pokémon.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:11 AM on June 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


How about eco-systems? Forest. Ocean. Groups within are related to the overall theme. They could be plants, animals or minerals!
posted by amanda at 6:14 AM on June 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Dogs and cats, and then breeds of dogs and cats? Or cattle and sheep, and breeds of cattle and sheep!
posted by DarlingBri at 6:21 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


I mean, you could just keep apples and bananas.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:39 AM on June 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


You could totally stick with the apple and banana, with subdivisions named after varieties of each.

Apple is easy to subdivide - granny smith, macintosh, golden delicious, Fuji, etc.

Bananas, thanks to our corporate overlords and their monoculture fetish, are harder because the kids probably won't automatically know what each variety looks like. But some cute-sounding subgroups could be named after sugar bananas, goldfinger bananas, cavendish bananas, plantain, blue java bananas, etc. Print out pictures of each variety so the subgroups can see who they are supposed to be :)
posted by MiraK at 6:40 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


Sky and Water - different types of clouds (nimbus, cumulus, stratus, etc) and different bodies of water (estuary, cove, lagoon, pond etc)

Salt Water and Fresh Water - dialing in on the above idea but divided into salt (bay, channel, straight, sound, fjord) and fresh (brook, stream, pond, lake)

Fasteners and Fabrics - button, zipper, velcro, snap vs cotton, denim, fleece, linen

Flowers and Trees - iris, rose, daisy, lily vs oak, pine, birch, elm

Farm Animals and Pet Animals - goat, horse, chicken, alpaca vs hamster, goldfish, cat, chichilla
posted by Mizu at 6:46 AM on June 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


I think something where both sides have easily, visually distinguishable sub-groups would probably be the most fun. Dog breeds can be pretty different, but cat breeds have much less variety. Apples have many names, but they don't look that different from each other.

Fruits and vegetables seems good -- except that both of those words have kinda of insulting meanings that kids might latch onto to taunt the other group. Plants and animals is better on that score, though I feel like plants might be a little boring relative to animals? I mean, if one kid gets to be a tiger and the other is a tree, maybe that's not super-fun?

Flowers and trees? (Not sure trees are all that different looking either.) Foods and drinks? Hot vs cold foods?

Divide teams into North and South and give them animals from each hemisphere? That way one group gets Mountain Lions and the other Leopards, for example.

Winters and Summers with groups named for activities or aspects of the seasons?

I assume you want to avoid branded content, otherwise things like Marvel vs. DC or other similar types of media properties could work -- Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Pokemon, whatever kids the age of your kids are into.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:58 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Ecosystems is cool because there's not really a bad one - lots of kids may be familiar with the Minecraft biomes too
posted by typecloud at 7:03 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trees and Flowers - if you use local species you can put leaves or flowers up as signs and identifiers. Bonus learning!

Insects and Birds - you can have things like bees/ants/ladybirds as well as penguins/eagles/ostriches.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 7:08 AM on June 6, 2019


Shapes and colors
Foods and drinks
Books and movies
Art and music
City things and country things, or city things and nature things
Indoors and outdoors
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:26 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


- Land vehicles and air/sea
- Deciduous and coniferous trees
- The groups are actually all the same, but in two different languages
posted by teremala at 7:28 AM on June 6, 2019


You could do ecosystems/ecotones like Arctic (Polar Bears and Reindeer) and Rainforest (Toucans and Sloths).
posted by Guess What at 8:01 AM on June 6, 2019


Maybe give the kids a broad category and let them choose for themselves? Be careful with your names that it doesn't imply one is superior to the other in any way--whatever you choose needs to be two truly neutral options.
posted by LKWorking at 9:23 AM on June 7, 2019


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